10 CTE Courses Your School Should Offer

May 30, 2024
Cte courses Edmentum article

Offering a comprehensive Career and Technical Education (CTE) program is essential for school districts who are looking to increase student engagement and prepare their learners for an evolving job market. Key components of a good CTE program include:

  • Organizing educational offerings into career clusters that focus on a specific industry or field.
  • Offers a hands-on approach to learning.
  • Prepares students for a wide range of career pathways.

The U.S. Department of Labor recognizes 16 career clusters that provide a structure for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and help students explore interests through career pathways. If you’re looking to develop or enhance your CTE program, consider offering these five popular career clusters.

1. Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

This cluster can appeal to students who are interested in an agricultural career related to food production, environmental sustainability, and natural resource management. Potential career pathways include farming, ranching, food science and green energy.

With growing concerns about food security and environmental sustainability, careers in agriculture and natural resources are more critical than ever. Offering programs in this cluster can prepare students to address future challenges within agronomy, veterinary science, and environmental conservation.

A multi-year career pathway in green energy can look like the following with these courses:

2. Arts, AV Technology, and Communications

Aspiring artists and students with a knack for creating online content may be interested in this cluster, which encompasses careers in visual and performing arts, multimedia production, journalism, and broadcasting.

In an increasingly digital world, proficiency in audiovisual (AV) technology and communication skills are highly sought after across industries. School districts can empower students to explore and apply their creative passions in career pathways like graphic design, film production, and digital media.

A multi-year career pathway in digital design can look like the following with these courses:

3. Business Management and Administration

Entrepreneurial students looking to start a business or those who are interested in climbing the corporate ladder may be interested in exploring the foundations of business education, which demonstrates what effective management and administration looks like in practice.

Business management and administration courses will equip students with critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills, which are all needed to thrive in a global, competitive market. There's a wide range of career pathways within this cluster, such as entrepreneurship, finance, human resources, and marketing.

A multi-year career pathway in human resources management can look like the following with these courses:

4. Health Science

The health science cluster encompasses careers in medicine, nursing, allied health professions, biomedical research, and healthcare administration. Students who are interested in this cluster can get a comprehensive education and hands-on training needed for success in the healthcare industry.

As advancements in medical technology and services continue to shape our world, the demand for skilled healthcare professionals remains high. By offering programs in health science, school districts prepare students for rewarding careers in healthcare while addressing critical workforce shortages.

A multi-year career pathway in exercise science can look like the following with these courses:

5. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)

Students who choose pathways in the STEM cluster have access to various opportunities that serve a real need in the workforce. For example, they can design cutting-edge software, build sustainable infrastructure, or conduct groundbreaking scientific research.

As STEM lies at the forefront of innovation and technological advancement, schools that offer such courses can provide students the chance to tackle complex challenges, cultivate analytical thinking skills, and become proficient in emerging technologies.

A multi-year career pathway in robotics can look like the following with these courses:

Expand CTE Course Offerings with Edmentum

As educators and policymakers continue to prioritize CTE, investing in comprehensive programs that encompass these essential career clusters is key to unlocking the full potential of our future workforce.

Edmentum is ready to be the partner that can provide CTE courses that help students find success in the 21st-century workforce. View Edmentum’s full CTE curricula catalog to browse options such as virtual courses and middle school level introductory courses. You can also access Edmentum's Career-Connected Learning workbook for a comprehensive guide to career and technical education that cultivates lifelong learners.

This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been updated.

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